Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local News & Opinion

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Travel
Books, Films, Arts & Education
Letters
Open Letters:

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

03.28 It's taken seven years, but California is finally cleaning up microbead pollution

03.28 Rockefeller Brothers Fund: it is our moral duty to divest from fossil fuels

03.28 Can Aqua-Spark fund the future of aquaculture?

03.28 The California drought is a problem Silicon Valley isn't helping to solve

03.27 Large fall in UK greenhouse gas emissions of over 8% last year

03.26 Naomi Klein: Let's kick oil while the price is down – video

03.26 Leaders of European cities make pledge to tackle climate change [Statement by the Mayors]

News Media

03.28 The Reckless Man's Case for Bombing Iran

03.27 Always Remember, the NY Times Pushed, Hard, for War in Iraq

Daily FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & Culture

03.29 Fracking Town’s Desperate Laid-off Workers: ‘They Don’t Tell You It’s All a Lie’

03.29 In Vote to Expand Social Security, 42 Democratic Senators Vote Yes While Every Republican Votes No

03.29 War budget might be permanent 'slush fund'

03.29 Which Companies Are Buying the Election?

03.27 Guess Which Ultra Liberal State Is About to Become a Hellish Place for People to Work in?

03.27 The Glaring, Brazen Hypocrisy at the Heart of American Right-Wing Christianity

03.26 Payday loan borrowers: ‘When are we going to be done paying these people?’

Justice Matters

03.26 Many women of color don't go to the police after sexual assault for a reason

High Crimes?
Economics, Crony Capitalism

03.29 Elizabeth Warren Strikes Back as Citigroup Tries to Blackmail the Democratic Party

03.26 Regulatory Capture, Captured on Video [1:21 video]

03.26 US risks epic blunder by treating China as an economic enemy

03.25 Currency concerns everywhere

03.25 California Water Wars: Another Form of Asset Stripping?

International

03.28 Texas man who won hunting auction to be allowed to import black rhino trophy

03.28 Amazon Robot Contest May Accelerate Warehouse Automation

03.28 The Confused Person's Guide to Middle East Conflicts [an Escher-like graphic]

03.28 Portable media players give North Koreans an illicit window on the world

03.28 Saudi planes pound Yemeni capital in second night of bombing, witnesses say

03.27 Sex parties, cartels and 'significant' risks: DEA agents stung by damning report

03.27 Back from the Brink: Spain Emerges as Model for Europe

03.27 Caliphate Under Pressure: Is Islamic State in Trouble in Iraq?

03.27 How the US Government and US Military Became Murder, Inc.

03.27 South Sudan food crisis leaves people of Ganyiel desperate for a peace deal

03.27 US defends strategy in Yemen and Iraq but diplomats admit: it's a mess

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Iraq: Raped ">
Newspaper logo

COMMENTARY:

Iraq: Raped

An Illegal War Degenerates

By RAED JARRAR
A few months ago, Abir Al-Janabi was just another 14-year-old Iraqi girl in a small town called Al-Mahmudiyah, south of Baghdad. Both of her parents are from the Al-Janabi tribe, one of the biggest tribes with Sunni and Shia branches.

Omar Al-Janabi, a neighbor and relative, was informed by Abir's mother that the young girl was being harassed by U.S. soldiers stationed in a nearby checkpoint. That is why Abir was sent to spend the night in her neighbor's home. The next day, Omar Al-Janabi was among the first people who found Abir, with her 34-year-old mother Fakhriyah, her 45-year-old father Qasim, and her 7-year-old sister Hadil, murdered in their home. Abir was raped, killed by a bullet in her head, and then burned on March 12, five months before her fifteenth birthday.

Muhammad Al-Janabi, Abir's uncle, reached the house shortly after the attack as well. Iraqi police and army officers informed him and other angry relatives that an "armed terrorist group" was responsible for the horrifying attack. This is exactly what the angry relatives of the 24 Iraqi civilians killed in Haditha four months before this incident had been told as well. In that case, U.S. officials initially claimed that a roadside bomb planted by terrorists had killed the 24 Iraqi civilians and one U.S. soldier in Haditha, but the Iraqi people knew that it was the Americans.

Unlike the case of Haditha, where Iraqi public opinion was furious about the massacre months before it reached to the U.S. mainstream media, the Iraqi press had not even heard of Abir until the U.S. army accidentally found out information about her while investigating another incident. This raises questions about the number of other similar cases that were never investigated and were blamed on non-occupation parties instead.

According to Iraq Body Count, a credible project documenting Iraq's civilian casualties, the occupation armies are directly responsible for killing more than one fourth of civilians in Iraq since the beginning of the war. This makes the assumption that Abir's case is just one of many even more plausible.

The "Hadji Girl" song is yet another indicator that what happened to Abir is most like not an anomalous case. "Hadji Girl" is a videotaped song about killing Iraqis written and performed by U.S. Marine Corporal Joshua Belile while he was at the Al-Asad Air Base in Iraq. The song became controversial a few weeks ago when the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) discovered it on the internet and objected to its lyrics.

The lyrics, accompanied by loud laughter and applause, include lines as such as "So I grabbed her little sister and pulled her in front of me. As the bullets began to fly, the blood sprayed from between her eyes, and then I laughed maniacally. Then I hid behind the TV, and I locked and loaded my M-16, and I blew those little fuckers to eternity. And I said Dirka Dirka Mohammed Jihad, Sherpa Sherpa Bak Allah, they should have known they were fucking with a Marine". A two-week investigation held by the U.S. army ended with no punishment for Corporal Belile. Furthermore, according to the spokesperson for the Mike Church Show, Mike Church is planning to record and release "Hadji Girl" and give royalties to Belile. The right-wing presenter will sing and release the song on air this week.

But even if you believe that the case of Abir is a rare exception, it is still a major scandal in Iraq. Issues relating to honor are even more sensitive for the Iraqi public and government than the ongoing daily civilian murders. The first Iraqi governmental reaction came when an Iraqi female member of Parliament asked for an urgent session for which Prime Minister Al-Maliki was called back home to attend. The Iraqi Parliament described the rape as a crime against "the honor of all Iraqis". As a result, Al-Maliki asked for a review of the laws put in place by U.S. Ambassador Paul Bremer, giving foreign troops immunity from prosecution in Iraq. This seems to be an Iraqi public demand. Iraqi tribal leaders had a number of meetings across the country last week on the anniversary of "Thawrat Al-Eshrin", the 1920 revolution against the British occupation. The largest meeting was that of the mostly Shia Middle Euphrates Tribes. During this meeting, they threatened to initiate a full-scale revolution against the occupation, similar to what had happened in 1920, unless the U.S. army hands over to them all soldiers accused of raping the "Al-Mahmudiyah Virgin," as she is now known.

What is happening in Iraq is a rape of a nation, not just a rape of a 14-year-old girl, and it has to be stopped as soon as possible.
The uproar created in the wake of the death of Abir is but the culmination of over three years of pent-up frustration and rage the Iraqi people feel. It will only end with the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. What is happening in Iraq is a rape of a nation, not just a rape of a 14-year-old girl, and it has to be stopped as soon as possible.
Published in the Baltimore Chronicle with the permission of the author.

Raed Jarrar, an Iraqi living in the United States, is the director of the Iraq Project at Global Exchange. Jarrar can be reached at: jarrar.raed@gmail.com.

Copyright © 2006 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on July 12, 2006.
 


Public Service Ads: